It's all about the Games
This summer, the UK is alive with Games fever.
But much has changed since the chariot-racing origins of the Games nearly 3,000 years ago, and when asked what games they play, young people are more likely to refer to online and console games than javelin, discus and hammer throw!
According to Ofcom, nearly half of children aged 5-7 have a games console in their bedroom, rising to seven in ten 8-15 year olds. Many young people are playing online and console games on a daily basis; 58% of 5-7s, 68% of 8-11s and 59% of 12-15s.
This summer of games is a time for parents and carers to ask their children what games they enjoy – both online and offline – and to engage with the gaming environment and begin to understand what makes it is so attractive to young people. Maybe you can impress your children by showing them a sports-themed game you find online or perhaps play with the official Games mascots!
Playing it safe
For most young people, online gaming is a fun and positive activity, but there are potential risks. Many games consoles and handheld devices have in-built wireless so they can connect to your home internet or other wifi hotspots. This enables a wide range of online functions, such as playing with or against people online (in a multiplayer game), viewing films and TV, storing photos and music, browsing the web and chatting to friends.
It is important to ensure that young people understand that the same rules about staying safe online apply directly to gaming. Parental control tools can also help parents and carers manage their children’s gaming, for example, to prevent internet browsing or prevent access to age-restricted games, and PEGI age ratings help you decide which games are appropriate for your child’s age.
You can read more about gaming in Childnet’s leaflet for parents and for particular advice about parental control settings on Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo devices you can look through our Parents’ Guide to Technology.
Let the games begin!